Ad Nut
Feb 20, 2017

Censored-book shop, disappearing art highlight threats to expression

Amnesty International, with Ogilvy and Brand Union, makes a statement about erosion of freedom in Hong Kong.

Amnesty International Hong Kong worked with Ogilvy & Mather and Brand Union to open a 'bookstore' that offered over 1000 books that appeared to have been censored or blacked out. Intended to "highlight the rapidly eroding Freedom of Expression laws protected by Article 27 in Hong Kong", the bookstore was open for two days last week in the city's Central district.

Visitors to the shop were invited to donate HK$27 (about US$3.50) to keep one of the bespoke books.

In addition, a series of short films (below), which aired on Hong Kong buses, show reverse time-lapses of artists 'un-sketching' controversial scenes, visually depicting that "When rights vanish, so does the truth". The organisation is also hosting an art exhibition focusing on freedom of expression through 26 February.

Mabel Au, Director, Amnesty International Hong Kong:

Censorship and self-censorship are on the rise, and people’s freedoms are being challenged. Whistle blowers, journalists and booksellers are being silenced, and with them, the vital issues they bring to light. We hope to address this deeply concerning issue through the installation, and hope that the people of Hong Kong not only keep this top of mind, but also continue to have a voice, and defend our Freedom of Expression.

Ad Nut is of course a staunch advocate of freedom of speech/expression, and has always favoured this elegant explanation of why it's so important:

“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
—George Washington, US president


Chief Creative Office (Ogilvy): Reed Collins
Creative Director (Brand Union): Andy Reynolds
Creative Director (Ogilvy): Mike Pearson
Senior designer (Brand Union): Gianluca Crudele
Senior designer (Brand Union): Kitty Chan
Art Director (Ogilvy): Stratos Efstathiou
Art Director (Ogilvy): Vivian Lam
Creative Technologist (Ogilvy): Craig Mason
Videographer / Photographer (Ogilvy): Lucy McNally
Senior strategist, Social (Ogilvy): Angus Chow
Senior strategist, Social (Ogilvy): Chloe Yung
Vincent Wong (Brand Union): Illustrator
Karis Cheng (Ogilvy): Strategist

AIHK: Edward Tsoi
AIHK: Elizabeth Lui
AIHK: Mabel Au
AIHK: Volunteers
[email protected] Students volunteers
Bethune House volunteers
Mark Cumming

Hong Kong Free Press
TREE furniture

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